Telecom operator CTM has completed the construction of the core network for its 5G service, vowing to invest another MOP 2 billion (US$251 million) in the network for five years to continuously optimise the network.
The announcement was made by CTM Network Services Vice President Declan Leong Pui Hong, Commercial Affairs Vice President Ebel Cham Pou I and Corporate Communications Director Eliza Chan during a press briefing about the 5G network.
According to Leong, the first stage of the core network construction was completed last month. He said that the first phase of the construction for the 5G non-standalone (NSA) network that began in March would be completed by the end of next month, while the second phase would be finished next year.
5G NSA is a solution for 5G networks where the network is supported by the existing 4G infrastructure.
Leong also pointed out that one of the biggest challenges of building the 5G network is locating a large number of base stations that requires space, which Macau lacks. He said that CTM had asked the government open up its buildings and other facilities to give the industry space for the installation of base stations, which was favourable for network coverage and capacity expansion.
Leong said that another challenge was popularising 5G, which depended on cost control as the cost would be affected by equipment, site rental, power consumption and spectrum fees.
As preparation for 5G deployment is in the final stage, Cham said that 7,000 people have so far signed up for the service, and 5G smartphones would be available in the second half of the year. However, she said she could not yet announce the pricing and tariffs for 5G.